February 22, 2024
Lawyers for the former crypto billionaire, who is vegan, said the detention center is not accommodating his diet and failing to regularly dispense his prescription Adderall.

New York — Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty Tuesday to amended fraud and money laundering charges, appearing in court for the first time since his bail was revoked and he was sent to a Brooklyn jail to await trial.

Lawyers for the former crypto billionaire, who is vegan, said the detention center is not accommodating his diet and failing to regularly dispense his prescription Adderall.

“He’s literally now subsisting on bread and water, which are the only things he’s served that he can eat, and sometimes peanut butter,” his attorney, Mark Cohen, told the court.

Magistrate Judge Netburn said she would contact the Bureau of Prisons about the accommodations.

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Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, has spent the past 11 days in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, a notoriously overcrowded facility that’s been regularly accused of keeping inmates in inhumane conditions. It’s a far cry from his house arrest, which he spent in the relative luxury of his parents Palo Alto home in California.

On August 11, Judge Lewis Kaplan revoked SBF’s bail and remanded him to the facility, ultimately siding with prosecutors’ argument that he had attempted to intimidate potential witnesses against him, including his former business partner and ex-girlfriend, Caroline Ellison.

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Bankman-Fried, 31, has pleaded not guilty to multiple conspiracy and fraud charges relating to the collapse of his exchange, FTX, in November. He faces a potential life sentence if convicted on all the charges.

Before its collapse, FTX was one of the largest crypto-trading platforms in the world, backed by A-list celebrities and featured in Super Bowl commercials. But the company came unglued in the span of a week as concerns about its financial ties to SBF’s crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research, spurred investors and customers to yank their funds. The company filed for bankruptcy and quickly became the center of the federal fraud investigation.

While awaiting his trial, SBF will be granted a window of time, from 8:30 am to 3 pm, on weekdays to meet with his attorneys, according to a court filing released Monday.

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